This process map has been adapted and simplified to guide sections through the process of amicus curiae and other filings. Read standing board policies 8.10 and 8.20 for greater detail.
Determine if Section May Adopt a Position and Submit an Amicus Curiae Brief or Other Filing
A section may adopt a position and submit an amicus brief in pending litigation only when:
- The issue is beyond the scope of permissible legislative or ideological activity of The Florida Bar; or
- The issue is within permissible legislative or ideological activity of The Florida Bar and the proposed brief does not take a position that is inconsistent with an official position of The Florida Bar.
A section may not submit an amicus brief, file a motion for leave to appear, or take a position in pending litigation unless:
- The issue involved is within the area of subject matter interest of the section as described in its bylaws;
- The issue is not one that carries the potential of deep philosophical or emotional division among a substantial segment of the membership of the bar;
- The position is clearly identified as the section’s – not the bar’s – unless the board of governors (BOG) or executive committee (EC) directs otherwise; and
- The BOG or the EC (not the section’s executive committee) has expressly determined to take no action regarding the section’s filing.
Responses and Comments in Rules Cases
A section may adopt a position and respond to a petition to amend any portion of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, Florida Rules of Court Procedure, or Florida Code and Rules of Evidence; may file comments to rules petitions; and may join other groups’ comments following the same notice and draft requirements listed below. The review process also is the same.
Submit Notice and Draft Filing
A notice and draft filing must be provided to the Bar’s executive director (ED) or Office of General Counsel (OGC) at least 10 days before filing. The notice must include:
- Nature of the litigation, including identification of other parties and amici and their positions;
- Position sought to be taken;
- Anticipated effect of litigation and final decision;
- Need for the section to take the proposed position; and
- Absence or existence of conflict with any previous position adopted by Bar or any group and whether the group has been contacted about its position.
In emergency situations, the 10-day requirement may be waived by the bar president. The waiver request may be sent to either the OGC, the ED or the president, but only the president may grant the waiver.
Allow Time for Review Process
- The OGC verifies the notice contains the required information; may ask for additional information (lower court opinion, cases, etc.).
- The OGC provides the completed packet — notice, draft filing, additional documents, if any — to the ED.
- The ED distributes the packet and vote sheet to the Bar president for review and action.
- The ED or OGC follows up with the group regarding any decisions.